Over 1 million downloads of the England and Wales’ the Covid-19 app have been made its launched today.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the app “helps us to find more people who are at risk of having the virus” that human contact tracers are unable to find.
“Everybody who downloads the app will be helping to protect themselves, helping to protect their loved ones, helping to protect their community because the more people who download it, the more effective it will be,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
The app keeps secret who receives a self-isolation alert.
And there was some confusion about whether users could ignore a notification telling them to stay at home.
Mr Hancock said: “That self-isolation is voluntary, unlike the mandatory self-isolation if you are called by NHS Test and Trace.”
But the Department of Health and Social Care(DHSC) had earlier said that users must obey the command and would, in theory, be liable for fines of £1,000 or more if they did not, while acknowledging it had no way to check.
Apple and Google’s automated contact-tracing technology will be used to tell people to self-isolate if their phone detects they were near someone later determined to have the virus.
The app also has a number of features:
- a venue check-in barcode scanner
- a postcode-based risk-level checker
- a symptoms-reporter tool
- the means to order a coronavirus test and receive its results
- a countdown timer to keep track of how long to stay in self-isolation
- a guide to the latest advice on local restrictions, financial support and other related information
The notification will tell the recipient to go into self-isolation for a fortnight – and trigger the start of the app’s countdown clock.
Even if the recipient has no symptoms or a subsequent negative test result, they must stay at home for the duration.
One of the app’s major features is a scanner to let it keep track of pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and other places the user has visited.
USEING THE APP IN TURKISH
The app can now be used in 9 languages; English, Turkish, Welsh, Urdu, Gujarati, Punjabi (Indian), Bengali, Romanian, Chinese, Arabic and will also be available Polish and Somali in two weeks time.
In a statement made by the DHSC to Londra Gazete, they confirm that user can access the app in the Turkish language as long as their telephone language setting is on Turkish, the app with automatic be available in the language.
Likewise, the other languages available will automatically be available, if the phone setting is selected to one of the 9 options.